Who we are?
Friends and Places Together is a small, Southend based charity helping vulnerable, young people to see their friends or make new friendships outside of school and college. We give the opportunity for young people to socialise independently with other young people. Our charity motto is “everyone has the right to have friends and a social life.”
What we do
We do not support in the home; everything is community based. We have a venue at the Victoria Shopping Centre with cooking and leisure space.
We help young people have the opportunity to go out, make friends and have a social life with other young people with similar interests. Staff help and encourage clients to make informed choices on how they want to use their support time. The list of activities is endless, just a few examples include football, bowling, cooking, shopping, go karting, cinema, gym, beauty, walking, gaming, swimming, snooker, pubs, crazy golf, adventure island, base jump & many more. We even arrange day trips for our Under 18’s and holidays for our Over 18’s, anything from Butlins and Centre Parcs to Spain, Turkey, Disney Paris/Florida, Ibiza, and cruises.
Supporting a healthy social life helps build confidence and self-esteem. Our young people get the opportunity to learn to build basic everyday life skills.
Every young person will have a Support Plan which outlines the support they need. We also have a Personal Development Plan (PDP) for each client, this is person centered to their journey with the charity. The young people are encouraged to be involved updating in their PDP, so we can monitor, and they can see their achievements and outcomes. This resource is available for when clients have reviews with other professionals and services.
Services we offer:
- Under 18’s – This service is for young people between the ages of 15-17 to meet each week at the Centre or in the community, in friendship groups and as they establish themselves and find their friends they will gradually transition into small friendship groups. They will then have more independence around when and where they would like to use their support time. Between the ages of 17-18 we help them transition into the over 18’s group.
- Over 18’s – This service is for clients between the ages of 18-25 in smaller friendship groups between 2- 4 friends.
- New over 25 – 40 years old, Offer the opportunity for friends in this age range to meet up at the weekend with their mates. We offer staffing to support friendship.
We run throughout the year including school holidays. During school holidays we also organise day trips. We close over the Christmas period.
What makes us unique is that we are person centred which means we listen to what people want and respond to what is being asked. Friends and Places as an organization is flexible and creative in our approach and their families. All the staff are local to Southend so understand the needs of our community and what is going on,
Some quotes from families about what we offer:-
‘She meets friends for the first time on her own and go down town to Southend’
‘It’s amazing but he is now more confident at college and has since made new friends at college’.
‘FandPT helped me to get a direct payment which means my son can now go out with a PA instead of always with me’.
‘For the first time I felt listened to and met someone that knew where I should go for information’.‘Meeting Friends and Places was like a breath of fresh air’.
People who we Support:
We support anyone who has a disability that involves sensory, learning disabilities, communication difficulties, physical impairments, mental ill health, people with complex health needs as well as people with Autism and Aspergers.